MANILA— All courts in Metro Manila and other areas under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) will remain physically closed until Sept. 7, the high court said Saturday after government released new quarantine classifications for early next month.
In a memorandum issued Saturday, Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said courts, except the Supreme Court, shall be "physically closed to court users for the duration of the MECQ," and will operate online and conduct videoconferencing hearings only for "urgent incidents."
The SC defined urgent incidents as "applications for bail, releases due to dismissal of cases or acquittal, habeas corpus, applications for temporary protection orders for Violence Against Women and Children cases, and analogous circumstances."
Filing of pleadings and motions remain suspended and will resume 7 days after the physical reopening of courts, the memo read.
"The essential judicial offices in all courts in areas under MECQ shall maintain the necessary skeleton staff to attend to all urgent matters and concerns," the SC added.
Metro Manila and 15 other areas in the country will remain under MECQ until September 7, the latest guidelines from the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 response said.
This, as the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant has spurred a fresh surge in cases, with many hospitals in Metro Manila reaching high-risk or critical bed utilization levels.
— With reports from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News